Rule The World never came off the bridle in winning a hot renewal of the Slaney Novice Hurdle at Naas, in which the long odds-on Champagne Fever was a big disappointment.
Trained by Mouse Morris, Rule The World had only previously met with defeat once before, to Our Vinnie at Cork, but the presence of the Cheltenham and Punchestown Bumper winner meant he was sent off a 7-1 chance.
Champagne Fever (1-4) set out to make all, closely followed by Minsk, but Ruby Walsh was niggling from some way out and eventually the grey nearly stopped to a walk. Minsk took over turning in, but Davy Russell had not moved a muscle and breezed past to win by 16 lengths on Rule The World.
Morris said: "It's easy to be a good judge when you have a machine like that. He's a nice horse and we'll have to talk to the owners to see where we go - he's still a big, raw horse.
"Davy gave him a super ride and he jumped super. We'll take it handy with him."
It was later reported that Champagne Fever was found to be suffering from a respiratory tract infection by the racecourse vet.
Bookmakers were impressed by the winner, with Stan James going 12-1 from 25s for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham. Paddy Power also went 12-1, while Coral quote the son of Sulamani at 10s.
Charlie's Vic was the latest to prevent Our Girl Salley from getting off the mark over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase.
Noel Kelly trains the Derek Fox-ridden winner and said: "I always thought chasing was going to be her game. I thought it was a brilliant ride - he dropped out and did what he was told, as he always does.
"He came late and timed it well. I think she was slightly over the top when she ran at Punchestown in the spring and we had plenty of confidence in her coming here today. We'll look for a mares' novice chase for her now."
8 December 2013Bright start for New Dawn
Twin lights up Hilly Way
Twin lights up Hilly Way
Durkan stroll for Arvika
Unioniste has Lexus aim
New One heading to International
Drowne in hospital after fall
Baby in running for Warwick
Moore sets sights on Kempton
Ex-Oxx ace Mofeed lifts Cup
Cloud and Lantern sunk in Mile
Kanaloa sizzles in Sprint
Dominant shocks The Fugue in Vase
Turner back in business
Faugheen in impressive strike
Flemenstar out of John Durkan
Unioniste claims Listed prize
Grugy great in Tingle Creek
V for victory for Henderson
Chance best in Becher thriller
Hinterland reigns in Henry VIII
Mullins strikes with Gitane
7 December 2013V for victory for Henderson
Twinlight out to show the Way
Wyck primed for big Aintree run
Dandino and Rock miss Vase run
Bec puzzler for Lavelle
Moore's Vino is vintage stuff
Mullins sets sights on Navan
Captain taking charge for Henderson
George plots Aintree gold rush
King out to reign in Henry VIII
Newcastle in talks over AW track
Sir champing at bit for Durkan date
Baby on board for Becher
6 December 2013Carberry sidelined for weekend
Dunaden 'back to his best'
Glance sights fixed on Cup glory
Strawbridge coy over Cloud future
Sire out to profit from Sacre blow
Queen awarded ROA honour
Three-month ban for Arnold
Contrite Butler must 'rebuild life'
Nicholls watching ground for Roque
Topper tests Future waters
Murphy hit by nine-day ban
Big field for Becher
Sacre forced out of Sandown return
Cadeaux team enjoying the ride
Lantern burning bright once more
5 December 2013Rasen survives wind scare
Festival switch for Mares' race
Sacre out of Tingle Creek
No luck for Jwala in Sprint draw
Aigles well ahead of fourth Cup bid
Rasen to check on wind
Butler considers ban response
Court team eyeing Huntingdon return
Oscar on course for Cheltenham
Cantlow in Cheltenham frame
Juddmonte "not for sale"
Noseda content with Grand journey
Cloud future hinges on Mile outcome
Road charts route towards Becher
Knight backs Somersby to shine